My Job in 5: Cathy Scott, editorial assistant, Palgrave Higher Education

My Job in 5: Cathy Scott, editorial assistant, Palgrave Higher Education

Describe your role

I report to three different editors as the assistant on the higher education psychology, linguistics, engineering, maths and modern languages lists at Palgrave. I love having such a diverse set of subject specialisms, even though it can be challenging to balance them at times.

What do you like best about your role?

It’s very varied and sometimes a bit hectic. On any given day I could be chatting to authors, building a website, writing cover copy, going to a conference, checking proofs, answering customer queries, or picking a design for a new book or series.

Which new titles are you working on at the moment?

I’ve recently been working on a couple of brand-new linguistics series which I’m really excited about. We’ve got the first book in our Language, Style and Literature series coming out just before Christmas, and our series for language teachers is launching early next year. I’ve had the opportunity to be really hands-on with the development of both series, including working with the authors and series editors, and collaborating with our design team to come up with really eye-catching covers.

What skills are useful in academic editing?

There are always a lot of projects and tasks competing for your attention, so you need to be good at keeping a cool head and prioritising to manage your workload. Being comfortable talking to different types of people is also really important. In editorial, we talk to everyone from customers to colleagues to prominent academics on a daily basis, so it’s essential to be able to develop good relationships.

What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?

If you can be self-sufficient and confident enough to make good judgement calls when it’s needed, then people will quickly start to trust your opinion and give you more responsibility. 

Follow us #myjobin5. Questions by Maria Vassilopoulos. If you are working in the industry and would like to appear in this column, please email